Being a named driver

If you need to drive someone else’s car, or wish to borrow your friend’s car, then you’ll need to become a named driver on their insurance. Our guide will answer your questions on becoming an additional named driver.

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What is a named driver?

If you need to drive a vehicle other than your own, then you will need to be added to the insurance policy as a named driver. This will allow you to drive the vehicle with the same level of cover as the vehicle’s owner or main driver.

Can I be added as a driver to someone else’s insurance policy?

Yes. You can be added to any car insurance as an added driver, meaning you can drive that car with the same benefits as the car’s owner. If it’s a new policy, then they can simply provide your details when they take out the cover.

What will the insurer need to know about you as an additional driver?

The insurance company will need to know your name, age, marital status, address and your occupation. They will also ask for your motoring history, so any information about accidents or motoring convictions must be given before you can be added to a policy.

How much does it cost to be added as a driver on someone else’s policy?

If you’re added to an existing insurance policy, then it could cost £30 as a fee to amend the policy. However, the change in premiums are a different story, as they depend largely on whose policy you’re being added to.

For example, if you’re added to a young driver’s policy, then they will probably see their premium decrease, because you’re a more experienced driver. However, if a younger driver was added to your policy, then it’s likely that your premium would increase, because the younger driver is more of a risk. This might seem a bit unfair, but when you think that most accidents are caused by new or younger drivers, it makes sense to charge higher premiums as the risk factor gets higher.

Is the additional driver different from the main driver?

Yes, they are completely different and you need to be careful not to confuse the two. If you put yourself as the main driver to get a decrease in your son or daughter’s insurance premium, for example, but it is their car, then you could get into trouble. This is called ‘fronting’ and is illegal, and it could lead to fines and a criminal conviction. It could also invalidate your own insurance, making it more expensive and difficult for you to get cover in the future.

What happens if an additional driver has an accident?

If you have an accident as an additional driver, then you’ll make a claim on the main driver’s insurance, and it will affect their no claims discount. However, it won’t affect your own at all, as you are simply added onto their insurance. If someone is added to your insurance, then it will affect your no claims bonus, even if you were nowhere near your vehicle at the time.

Can you be added onto a policy permanently?

Sort of, at least for the duration of that policy. But many drivers are added only temporarily, as insurers allow drivers to be added for 90 days – but this doesn’t have to be taken all at once.

Can an insurer refuse to add me as an additional driver?

It’s unlikely, and unless you have a bad driving history, you should be able to add yourself to any policy. However, some insurers won’t allow learner or young motorists to be added to your existing policy, and some will charge a high premium to deter you from adding young or bad drivers they don’t want to insure, due to increased risk.

Do I need to know that someone has added my name to their policy?

Yes. You cannot add, or be added as a driver, on a policy without your permission. So, make sure you are always asked first. This also works as another defence against ‘fronting’.

Should you, as an additional driver, inform your own insurers?

Yes, if as an additional driver you have your own policy, then you should tell your insurer that you are covered to drive another vehicle as an additional driver.

If I have my own insurance, do I need to be added to another driver’s insurance?

Some insurance policies allow you to drive the vehicle with the owner’s permission, without being added to their insurance. But this is not always the case and cover might only be basic third party cover, even if yours or their main policy is comprehensive. Never assume that you have the adequate insurance in place, because your claim could be disputed.

Can I include additional drivers when I search for motor insurance quotes?

MoneySuperMarket’s comparison service allows you to add up to three additional drivers, or be added as a driver when you (or someone with your permission) are looking for a great deal on car insurance. The price you are quoted will reflect the scope of the insurance you are looking for.

I'm a named driver on another car, can I drive it in other EU countries?

Yes, you can drive it abroad, but you’ll only likely have third party insurance – so it’s up to you whether you pay for more protection. Just remember though, that the main driver must do the majority of driving, so if you do drive more than them and an accident happens, any claims you make could be challenged. So if you think you’ll be doing more of the driving, it might be better to take your own car. 

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